Diak

Pinja developed a solution to collect data from the My Diak student management system, the most central data source for Diak’s operations.

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Brief summary of the project

The need

Diak needed a high-quality data warehouse and reporting solution for developing the operating model of knowledge-based management.

Cooperation

At the definition stage of the project, Diak’s data requirements were carefully analyzed. Diak carried out the project together with Pinja.

Solution

Pinja implemented a data warehouse and reporting solution that collects data from the My Diak system.

Data warehouse keeps developing

In the second development step, data will also be collected in the data warehouse from the other systems used by Diak. If necessary, solutions based on advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and learning analytics can also be introduced.

Pinja’s tender had been prepared extremely accurately and it perfectly fulfilled the criteria of our request for tender.

Elina Juntunen, Director of Services of Diakonia University of Applied Sciences (Diak)

The challenge: A need to develop operational efficiency and improve quality through knowledge-based management

For Diak, it is very important to ensure that the personnel always has access to reliable and updated data to support their work. As another central target of development, Elina Juntunen highlights the need to create a common operating model and culture of knowledge management in the organization.

– We needed a functional data warehouse to develop our operations and organizational culture, Elina Juntunen says.

The solution: An effective data warehouse solution created a solid foundation for knowledge-based management

Diak started to develop their operating model of knowledge-based management in the spring 2018 organizing a workshop for the management group. The next step was taken in the autumn to define the data warehouse and reporting solution. Pinja was selected as the partner for this project.

– We started with an extensive and extremely careful definition of data requirements. The members of the project group came from several different groups of professionals. Together we identified the types of information required for management and to carry out various tasks. Since there is a huge amount of data, prioritization was necessary. We concluded that the most central information for us was student data, feedback and exams as well as the financial metrics of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Elina Juntunen relates.

Upon completion of the definition project, Diak put out to tender the implementation of the data warehouse reporting solution. Based on the tender competition, Pinja, already familiar from the definition project, was selected as the partner.

– Pinja’s tender had been prepared extremely accurately and it perfectly fulfilled the criteria of our request for tender, Juntunen says.

The development of the first stage of Diak’s data warehouse and reporting solution was started in the early summer of 2019 and completed towards the end of the year. During the autumn, a solution was developed to collect data from the My Diak student management system, the most central data source for Diak’s operations.

User training for the data warehouse was started in early 2020. Training has been organized very extensively because the new system is aimed to the entire personnel.

– We strive to actively make the system familiar to our in-house users. At the same time, we create a team structure and a knowledge management operating model in our organization. We will develop the model into a continuous service model focused around training, education and sparring, Elina Juntunen explains.

More about project

Data was collected to the new data warehouse from Diak’s My Diak student management system.

For the data warehouse development process and data modeling, we utilized a data warehouse automation tool called TimeXtender Discovery Hub. It allowed us to move fast and, in fact, the first reports were ready for the customer’s comments only after a few months.

Careful groundwork contributed to the agile development of the new system.

Although the development of a data warehouse is an iterative process, initial definitions are extremely important for success. We have been refining the definition process for a long time to be able to accurately identify the customer’s needs and provide a solution that genuinely benefits the customer. In this, we were very successful with the customer. Good groundwork contributed to the success of the entire project.

A data warehouse supports daily work and management

Elina Juntunen believes that the new data warehouse and reporting solution will be an extensive benefit to Diak’s activities. Now, data can be easily mobilized at different levels of the organization so that it can be efficiently utilized as a tool for the management and guidance of work.

– We are kept constantly updated and can make decisions based on the data. Thanks to reliable and real-time data, we can react to changes rapidly and improve the quality of our operations systematically. Knowledge-based management also improves our reliability across our stakeholders. I also believe that data helps us develop new innovations and new business in the future, Elina Juntunen says.

It is believed that the importance of knowledge-based management will increase as changes in the operating environments of organizations become faster.

As the world around us is changing at a fast pace, the importance of business intelligence becomes emphasized. Organizations must be able to analyze and develop their activities more and more efficiently and concrete facts are needed as a basis for decisions.

Growing the data warehouse step by step

During 2020, Diak and Pinja will continue to build the data warehouse. In addition to the My Diak student management system, data will also be collected from other systems used by Diak and will be utilized, for example, to create new report templates.

We will proceed with the software development in an agile manner, step by step. Now in the spring, we will shift to the second area involving implementation of reporting and analytics for the needs of Diak’s financial and human resources management, innovative activities, campus services and communication, for example. At the same time, we will offer them a support and maintenance service for the entity already implemented. In this way we can ensure that the solutions developed will work as desired.

In the future, the new data warehouse and reporting solution will also enable utilization of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and learning analytics.

Diakonia University of Applied Sciences (Diak) trains international specialists for healthcare and social services as well as diaconal work and interpreting. Diak carries out extensive research, development and innovative activities in all of its educational fields in both Finland and international settings. Diak’s campuses are located in Helsinki, Pieksämäki, Oulu, Pori and Turku.

Diak in a nutshell

20+ Years in business

5 Campuses

approx. 3 700 Students

approx. 250 Employees

2,6 M Turnover of RDI projects (2020)

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